As the Covid-19 pandemic goes on into the fall season, many of us just want to get that last taste of summer. For a lot of us, that means going to our favorite restaurant and enjoying a great meal. Supporting restaurants is a direct way to support people in your community while also enjoying a delicious meal. If you’ve been missing your favorite restaurant, it is possible to dine out instead of ordering take out again. Here are our tips for dining out during Covid-19 to keep yourself, restaurant staff, and other patrons safe.
Follow the Social Distancing Rules
It is important that you are adhering to the social distancing rules that are currently in place in your state or region. Currently, as of August 2020, it is advised that everyone keep at least a 6 feet distance from anyone who isn’t in your household or social circle. When you’re dining out, keep social distancing in mind as well, and make sure you’re seated a safe distance away from other patrons.
Jessica Guynn and Kelly Tykoat USA Today say that dining out during Covid-19 is safe for now:
“Public health experts say it’s safe to dine out as long as you take precautions such as frequently cleaning your hands with soap or hand sanitizer and staying at least 3 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.”
Sit Outside Where Possible
Some restaurants may have opened the inside of their restaurant for dining in, but it’s still the best course of action to sit outside when you can. Being outside instead of an enclosed space puts you at less risk to germs or viral droplets. For a safer dining experience, try to aim for a restaurant that has an outdoor patio. If you’re not sure, then call the restaurant before you head out to see what their options are for dining in.
Dr Robyn Gershon spoke to Health.com on what the best course of action is when dining out:
“To minimize COVID-19 risk when you eat outside, Dr. Gershon advises staying within your “circle of trusted people,” or those you have been staying in close isolation with since lockdown began. “This is not the time to widen that circle of trust unless you are in a very large open area, with plenty of room (six feet or more) between you and others who are not in your circle of trust,” she says.”
Be Aware of What You Come in Contact With
There’s a reason everyone’s been washing and disinfecting their hands constantly. It’s easy to pick up germs from touching anything, and be aware of that when you’re anywhere outside your home. If you’re dining out, make sure to sanitize your hands before you enter the restaurant and before and after eating your meal. The utensils and dinnerware are clean and sanitized, but be aware of what you come into contact with to avoid spreading any germs.
Dr. Robyn Gershon says to make sure you’re weighing the risks of going out to eat:
Ultimately, the decision to eat inside re-opened restaurants should be weighed against your own risk. “As a public health disaster researcher and educator, I think about the risk to myself, and so every person has to really take stock,” Gershon explains, adding that contact tracing is still in early stages across different states. “What if you live with an elderly person or somebody with chronic illness? We’ve already heard that [if you have] cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, most any kind of chronic condition, you’re at a higher risk for severe complications.”
Remember when you’re dining outat your favorite restaurant, avoid people outside of your social circle. You can do this by physical distancing, staying six feet apart from people at minimum, and wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others. Check your local area or state’s guidelines before going out to eat.
Check to see if restaurant menu pricing has changed, with favourites like Buffalo Wild Wings, Pickle Barrel, and Red Lobsterall here on our site. Check out our list of all restaurants to compare more food menus.